• Little Egret

Isle of Wight Migration Weekender 2021

White-tailed Eagles, waders and migrants!

  • Duration

    8 October 2021 to 11 October 2021

  • Location


  • Led by

    David Lindo – The Urban Birder

  • Group size

    up to 10 participants

  • Please contact us if you have any other queries

    Email: tours@theurbanbirderworld.com

  • Price

    £600 per person

  • Return pickup from London

    £35 per person

  • Single supplement


  • Remaining balance due 60 days before travel start date

    Second Payment: 08/08/2021

Free loan of Leica Ultravid binoculars is available for the duration of the tour – subject to availability.

Please ask for details.

Covid-19 has affected all holiday destinations across the globe. This tour is still scheduled to run but please refer to our Covid-19 Guidelines for the latest position.

About the Isle of Wight

Situated just off the coast of England between the well known migration magnets that are Beachy Head to the east and Portland Bill to the west, the Isle of Wight is an often forgotten island that has a lot more birds traversing its terrain than is currently observed. Indeed, over 320 species have been recorded on this island that consists of a variety of diverse habitats like saltwater estuary, freshwater marsh, coastal headlands, woodland, south facing chalk downland and, of course, urban areas.

Despite being under-watched some amazing birds have been uncovered including Little Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Black Stork, Black Kite, Red-footed Falcon, Long-billed Dowitcher, European Roller, Little Swift, Radde’s, Dusky and Hume’s Warblers and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. In 2014 European Bee-eaters nested on the island successfully raising eight chicks making it the most productive breeding record for this species in the UK!

The latest avian point of interest for the island is the recent reintroduction of the mighty White-tailed Eagle, after an absence of over 240 years. Three pairs were reintroduced at a secret location in 2019. Some of stayed, some have died and others have made incredible commutes including one that was seen sailing through London skies during the summer of 2019. We could bump into one of these birds at any point.

About this tour

We will be visiting the Isle of Wight during the prime time for spring migration in the UK. And whilst most birders will be treading the well-worn paths across the water on the mainland at Portland Bill and indeed, at the other famous hotspots across Britain, we will be like pioneers exploring the Isle of Wight.

There are many interesting sites to visit on the island so we will spend our days covering sectors of island and really getting to know the lay of the birding land.

Expected birds

Barn Owl, Black-tailed Godwit, Cetti’s Warbler, Common Kingfisher, Common Raven, Greenshank, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Peregrine, Stock Dove, migrants and possibly rarities.

Mammals: Red Squirrel.


October 8 – arrival and check-in

If you wish to travel in the 9-seater people carriers then meet outside the Kew Bridge Travelodge, North Rd, Brentford TW8 0BD at 9am. There is an additional cost of £35 for those wishing to use this service.

After boarding the 1pm Wightlink ferry at the Portsmouth ferry terminal, in Hampshire, we will arrive at Fishbourne, Isle of Wight some 45 minutes later. We will aim to be at the hotel in Ventnor for a 3pm check-in. Thereafter, we will indulge in some local birding.

Dinner/Overnight stay at the The Eversley Hotel.

October 9 – Alum Bay, West High Down & Newtown National Trust Nature Reserve

After breakfast we will head to Alum Bay and West High Down on the westernmost extremity of the island. Alum Bay is famed for its multi-coloured sand cliffs as well as being a good site for observing visible migration. Hopefully, we may be able to watch larks, finches, pipits and finches on the move. This site along with nearby West High Down is also renowned for scarcer species in the autumn with Yellow-browed Warblers being seen most years. We will keep our eyes peeled!

After lunch we will visit Newtown National Trust NR Reserve – the largest nature reserve on the island – to look for waders and waterfowl.

We will also hopefully be meeting with the White-tailed Eagle Project Officer today who will fill us in on the eagle reintroduction story. Donations to the project, through the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, will be gratefully accepted on the day.

Dinner/Overnight stay at the The Eversley Hotel.

October 10 – Hursey Nature Reserve, Bembridge Harbour, Alverstone Mead & Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve

After our breakfast we will head east to Hursey Nature Reserve for more waders and waterfowl. This reserve consists of a small lake with a surrounding marshland and reedbeds. We will then travel to Bembridge Harbour situated just south of Hursey. It is the site for regular Mediterranean Gulls as well as possible rarities and scarcities.

After lunch we will visit Alverstone Mead, which is just south of Bembridge. It is an area of water meadows and wet woodland – the later habitat a good place to look for Red Squirrel. This location is also a good area for Barn Owl although, we will probably be there at the wrong time of day to enjoy a sighting of this gorgeous owl. But you never know!

Finally, we will end the day at Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve, which is inland and east of Bembridge. It is a combination of river, marsh, estuary and woodland and a great place for catching up with the unobtrusive Cetti’s Warbler.

Dinner/Overnight stay at the The Eversley Hotel.

October 11 – St Catherine’s Point & Ventnor Downs

After breakfast and *checking-out we will head south to St Catherine’s Point – the most southernmost point of the Isle of Wight. Given its geographic position it is a magnet for migrating birds as it sometimes gets significant numbers of migrants passing through on their way north from the continent. We will hope to find commoner migrants like Yellow Wagtail, Common and Black Redstarts plus the hope of rarer visitors. Along the coast we could also hope for Common Raven, Peregrine and perhaps a late Merlin. Out at sea we may be lucky to catch a shearwater passing by like a late Sooty Shearwater.

After lunch, we will spend time on Ventnor Downs which is another renowned migration spot, especially for raptors. We will then head back to the hotel to collect our luggage.

We will aim to board the 5pm Wightlink ferry from Fishbourne back to Portsmouth and then respectively head homeward bound or back to the London drop off point – if you booked onto this service.

*Luggage will be held securely at the hotel.

Special trip notes

This trip is suitable for all ages and abilities.

The pace of this tour will be gentle. We will let the wildlife come to us.

The weather Isle of Wight could be decidedly unsettled so be prepared for the possibility of rain. Pack warm clothing, wind resistant and rainproof clothing plus a sturdy pair of walking shoes or boots..

Recommended field guide

Collins Bird Guide – Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström

Book now

  • Duration: 8 October 2021 to 11 October 2021
  • Price: £600 per person
  • Return pickup from London: £35 per person
  • Single supplement: none
  • Deposit: £150 per person
  • Group size: up to 10 participants
  • Remaining balance due 60 days before travel start date

    Second Payment: 08/08/2021

  • Please contact us if you have any other queries

    Email: tours@theurbanbirderworld.com

  • Passenger details

    Once you have booked your tour with us, please complete this form:
    Client Travel Form

White-tailed Eagles, waders and migrants!

8 October 2021 to 11 October 2021

Led by David Lindo – The Urban Birder


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Price includes

  • Full board accommodation
  • The services of your guide David Lindo (The Urban Birder)
  • The optional loan of a pair of sexy Leica binoculars for the duration of the tour – subject to availability –

Price does not include

  • Airline tickets and airport taxes
  • Ferry fees unless you are travelling in the minibuses where the ferry fees are included
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Entry fees to monuments and museums (if desired)
  • Incidental refreshments at cafes and bars, plus all additional drinks